My new homeland security hero: Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT)

Listen to this item from Friday evening's All Things Considered and realize, in amazement, how long it has been since we have heard a public figure talk plain common sense about the "theater of security" and 'fraidy-cat authoritarianism of TSA-era America.

The speaker is Brian Schweitzer, elected governor of Montana in 2004. (A Democrat.) Good for him.

Point for later discussion: Right now I'd say that the biggest single difference between life as an American in China in the 2000s, versus my family's life as Americans in Japan and Malaysia for four years in the 1980s, is internet streaming audio. It's still a big nuisance to see U.S. television broadcasts in anything like real time -- or at all, given that the slowness of the Chinese internet makes streaming video difficult. But to listen to the NPR morning and evening shows live, with time zones reversed -- Morning Edition live at our dinner time, All Things Considered in the morning -- that is an enormous difference in connected-ness. We had email even back in those old days! Not Skype, of course, which rivals streaming audio in importance (and obviously is a variant of the same technology.) For now, glad that this phenomenon brought me the Schweitzer interview.